Textiles: a Group Show
- 9:00 am - 9:30 pm | Thursday September 30, 2021
- Gallery | Ace Hotel Brooklyn
Textiles: a Group Show showcases the work of 21 individual textile artists responsible for the museum’s worth collection of custom art pieces hung throughout each room of Ace Hotel Brooklyn. Inspired in part by the central role fabrics played in the architecture and interiors of Bauhaus designers, the artists in this exhibition challenge and expand upon institutional narratives within the history of the medium — asking viewers to consider the many marginalized voices in textile tradition, as well as their own intimate relationship with fabric.
Embodying an exciting range of materials and craft techniques these diverse works confront the easy amnesia brought on by the mass-produced “perfection” of cheap consumer textiles — machine-made fabrics that cause us to literally or metaphorically “lose touch.” Through experiments with sewing, felting, quilting, rug-hooking and weaving, these artists push traditional craft into the realm of art.
Who benefits from the strict distinction between art and craft? Historically, this line has been drawn to marginalize working-class, indigenous and African American creators — mostly women — who have long steered the evolution of textiles through innovation, labor and artistry. Over the course of the 20th century, the works of textile artists like Anni Albers have been accepted and elevated by major institutions, while other pioneering makers (see: groups like the famed African American quilters in Gee’s Bend, Alabama) have been largely relegated to the role of artisans. Whether a handmade textile is assessed as art or craft may be meaningless on an aesthetic or even functional level, but ultimately it does matter — there are clear critical and financial consequences.
To understand the contemporary state of custom textiles is to value and celebrate that confluence of art, craft and design as inherent to the form. Beyond the gallery, the artists featured here have extensive bodies of work that encompass design, fashion, industrial textiles and sculpture, amongst other art forms (with select pieces available for sale in the Ace Hotel Brooklyn Shop). Through their multidisciplinary practices, their textiles take the form of activism, healing, personal history and cultural mythology, adding to an unfolding narrative on the proverbial loom, where warp meets weft in an infinite grid.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Alicia Scardetta is a Brooklyn-based, South Texas-born fiber artist. Alicia was introduced to weaving through a studio internship at the Textile Arts Center while studying Fine Art at Pratt Institute. After graduating with a BFA in Drawing from Pratt, she further developed her technical skills in tapestry at Haystack School of Crafts and Penland School of Crafts. Rooted in experimentation, Alicia’s work features bold color palettes, playful themes, and inventive techniques honed over ten years of experience weaving.
Audrey Ducas is a textile artist based between the Oregon Coast and New York City. Originally from Provence, France, she received a bachelor’s degree in textile design in Aubusson, France — the world capital of tapestry — and a master’s from Paris’ esteemed Ensci Design Institute. Ducas then relocated to New York City and spent 10 years working in high-end textile design while traveling the globe collaborating with the hidden artisans behind our planet’s most striking textiles. She sees weaving as a conversation between the permanent and the impermanent, the organized and the chaotic, stillness and playfulness, and the unshakable verticality of the earth-divine plane (steady warp) against the horizontality of the human plane (dynamic weft). The pieces become stories of an instinctual nature where the occasional twist and turns of the weft bring emotions, questions and perhaps understanding to the surface.
Caroline Kaufman is a New York based textile designer and artist. She is known for her experimental textiles, hand painted prints, and playful point of view. Her work finds a home in the space where art, craft, and design collide – the magic intersection of beauty and function. Her process-based practice with fiber explores the interaction between color, texture, and pattern. Through her craft, she examines nostalgia, childhood methods of creating, and the way in which memory shifts over time. Caroline holds a BFA in Fashion Design from Pratt Institute. She is a recipient of the Windgate Fellowship from the Center for Craft, Creativity and Design. Her work has been featured nationally and globally in the New York Times, New York Magazine, and Frankie Magazine to name a few.
Cheryl Humphreys’ undulating colors and elliptical topographies deliver a sensory experience. Invoking subtle, highly considered strategies, Humphreys seeks to generate physical calm in viewers of the work. As with The Bauhaus’ geometric colorists, Rothko’s liminal spiritualism, or the light architecture of James Turrell, Humphreys identifies perception itself as material. Printmaking is usually highly methodical and ritualistic, and it is absolutely so in Humphreys’ hands. Through repetition, the human body and mind drop into a more relaxed state; Humphreys builds this respite into her works. Repetition also emphasizes the inextricable interrelatedness of color, texture, shape and scale. Like her aesthetic forebear Josef Albers, Humphreys’ artwork is influenced by her design work. This interweaving of traditions generates synesthesia-like experience in viewers, whose minds and bodies are uniquely and simultaneously engaged.
Chi Nguyễn is an interdisciplinary artist based in Brooklyn, New York. She uses fiber art and durational performance to reflect on race, feminism, economic justice, immigrants’ rights, and reproductive justice. Her work has been featured in Vogue, The Washington Post, Salon, Ms. Magazine, Huffington Post, BusinessWeek, Vice, The New York Times, Bustle, among others.
Hannah Epstein (AKA hanski) is a hybrid artist who uses the traditional craft of rug hooking and interactive technology. With an artistic practice grounded in independent game design and video art, Epstein’s use of textile remains the central medium wherein she pulls together a vast array of interests into a refracted reflection of our media-saturated landscape. Raised in Nova Scotia, Epstein holds a BA in Folklore from Memorial University and an MFA from Carnegie Mellon University. She is currently represented by Steve Turner in Los Angeles.
Isa Rodrigues is a textile artist and educator from the South of Portugal, currently based in Brooklyn, New York. After receiving her MA in Textile Conservation in 2008, Isa moved to New York to work and learn from the textile collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. In 2010, she joined the founding team of the Textile Arts Center, where she still currently works as Co-Executive Director and teaches weaving and surface design. Isa likes to experiment and create with weaving and natural dyes, and her best ideas tend to appear to her in dreams. Her work has been exhibited at the Museum of Art and Design and the Cooper Hewitt Museum, and she has created work for clients such as Altuzarra, M.Patmos, Google, ED by Ellen, Thompson Street Studio, amongst others.
Jamie Goldenberg is a textile artist based in Great Barrington, Massachusetts. Informed by her background in art and cultivating native plants, she designs, dyes and weaves objects with narratives based in the natural world, but meant for the domestic realm. Her approach uses native materials to make pieces that reflect the experience of a particular environment. She was a 2016 resident of the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn, a former adjunct professor at the Parsons School of Design in NYC and co-founder of MUSE in Housatonic — a former textile mill turned artist space. She currently weaves, sews and teaches in her studio in Great Barrington, Massachusetts.
Kiva Motnyk is an artist and designer creating work with a focus on experimental textiles. She explores connections between art, industry and nature, through a process of discovery, conception and making. Kiva founded Thompson Street Studio in NYC, a space to create work that conceptualizes art and design as one discipline focused on creating the everyday object. Collaboration and process is an important part of her development, inspired by ideas of tradition. Her sensibility is rooted in a love of natural color, texture and pattern expressed in a modern application of traditional techniques: silk screening, weaving, knitting, quilting and multiple natural dye methods. Kiva has exhibited her work worldwide, including at Ralph Pucci Gallery NY, The Apartment DK, Performa NY and Bridget Donahue Gallery. She is a contributing teacher for Parsons MFA Textiles Program and provides creative direction as a consultant for Home and Fashion Brands. She splits her time between her home and studio in NYC and The Catskill Mountains.
Lookout & Wonderland began in 2005 as a home for radical idea-making and collaborative creation. Artists Yusuke and Niki Tsukamoto had both recently left creative jobs and felt the need to make space for an expanded place of daily practice to meld all aspects of themselves. Space where every area of their respective studies and practices, from natural medicine and meditation to corporate branding and creative direction would hold equal weight and guide their approach to making work. They’ve felt an ever-quickening urgency over the years to provide creative work that helps to raise awareness and connect people to a path towards global health and well-being. Utilizing fabrics that are grown with carbon-sequestering farming methods, sustainably grown plant-based dyes and local invasive species are just a few of the ways they work with the community to bring forward a better way to the future. They apply this ideology to graphic design, creative direction, and brand identity as well, working together with clients to shape considerate design with the most sustainable methods possible.
Melissa Joseph was born and raised in Western Pennsylvania. She is interested in connecting people through collective memory and shared experiences. Her work addresses themes of diaspora, family histories and the politics of how we occupy spaces. Her work has been shown at the LiteHaus Gallery, Delaware Contemporary, Woodmere Art Museum, The Painting Center, Southern Exposure, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Rider University, Collar Works, Pentimenti Gallery, and featured in New American Paintings, ArtMaze, Venti Journal, Zyzzyva, and Hyperallergic. She participated in residencies at the Center // Substructured Loss, the Growlery, Chautauqua Visual Arts, the Textile Arts Center, BRIC, and currently the DieuDonne Workspace Residency and the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Studio Program. She is represented by REGULARNORMAL Gallery in New York. She lives and works in Brooklyn, NY.
Molly Haynes is a Los Angeles-based textile artist exploring weaving as a form of sculpture, through a language of controlled yet expressive materials. In her work, linear abstraction unfurls into plant-like growth, reflecting the sense of awe at the intersection of natural phenomena and the built environment. With roots in Massachusetts and New York, she earned her BFA in Textiles at the Rhode Island School of Design in 2014. She spent five years designing functional fabrics for Pollack in the interior textile industry before committing to her art practice full-time in 2019. Her work has been exhibited with Colony, New York, NY; Russell Janis, Brooklyn, NY; Room 68, Provincetown, Massachusetts; and Galerie Antoine Ertaskiran, Montreal, Canada. She has been featured in Luxe, Cover and W Magazines and was selected as one of Apartment Therapy’s 20 Design Changemakers to Know in 2020.
Owyn Ruck is an artist and practitioner primarily utilizing weaving and other hand-building processes to acknowledge her humanity and consistently return to the source of “I.” This creative exploration is inextricably linked to her therapeutic practice, which focuses on practical methodologies that support health and the creative, collective process of individuation. This link is often expressed through the language of imagery that emerges through the deconstruction of concepts and a focused intellect. She was a co-founder of the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn, and currently shares weaving, SourcePoint Therapy, and archetypal astrology in both group and one-on-one settings.
Paige Martin makes curious and touch-provoking pieces with a methodology oriented around the body. She is also an award-winning dancer, choreographer and performer, with a private practice in Zero Balancing, an osteopathic body-mind therapy. Her WOODS line — primarily wooden rings — was first inspired by beach debris and driftwood, but now incorporates a curio-cabinet of materials. Existing in the context of object rather than jewelry, WOODS are constructed much like furniture, sculpture or toys. Rather than serving as a symbol of femininity, marker of status or representation of beauty, a wooden piece can stand alone as pure adornment, without the confines of gender. Paige’s recent larger works begin as drawings, and often require an entirely new set of skills and techniques to be undertaken. Using minimal tools, pieces are built by hand — a process linked to the lineage of makers throughout time. She currently works with Here Projects as co-curator and designer. Since emerging as a maker of small objects and wooden rings, she has designed sets for theater and dance and has presented work in galleries and design-platform environments. Her pieces have been featured in the shops of Paul Kasmin Gallery, the Cooper-Hewitt Smithsonian Design Museum, the Hammer Museum and MaRS.
Rachel Snack is a weaver, teacher and textile conservator. She received her Bachelor of Fine Art in Fiber & Material Studies from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her Master of Science in Textile Design from Philadelphia University. Rachel is the founder of Weaver House Co., a textile studio and yarn shop dedicated to preserving craft tradition through hand-making and weaving education. Her most recent large-scale project is the digital archive and in-print revival of the weaving periodical Warp and Weft.
Rhiannon Griego is a textile artist based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Rhiannon found harmonic resonance within the philosophies of Saori, Japanese Freeform Weaving and its wabi-sabi nature. She committed herself to its practices and has been weaving in this tradition since 2013. Her hands have expressed themselves in fiber, bronze, brass, wax and other organic materials that suit the narrative she is conveying at that time. Whether wearable, decorative or fine art, she aims to inspire the collector to remember that all these fibers originate from plants and animals — creating a fundamental bridge between the outer and the inner worlds. Her work is most inspired by the landscapes, the spirit of the American Southwest. Her Mexican, Spanish and Tohono O’odham lineages all provide a communication portal in which she communes for direction with her ancestors. She has exhibited as a fine artist in galleries in California and New Mexico. She is happiest when weaving near surrealistic rock formations, listening to ambient music and living life as the fullest expression of her spirit.
Rowan Renee is a Brooklyn, NY based artist who explores how queer identity is mediated by the law. Their work addresses intergenerational trauma, gender-based violence and the impact of the criminal justice system through image, text and installation. Their work has been exhibited in solo exhibitions at the Anchorage Museum of Art (2021), Five Myles (2021), Aperture Foundation (2017), and Pioneer Works (2015) and they have received awards from the Aaron Siskind Foundation, the Harpo Foundation and the Jerome Hill Foundation. Currently, their project Between the Lines, in collaboration with We, Women Photo, runs art workshops by correspondence with LGBTQ+ people currently incarcerated in Florida. Their installation, No Spirit For Me (2019), was included in the critically acclaimed exhibition Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration, curated by Dr. Nicole R. Fleetwood at MoMA PS1.
Sagarika Sundaram creates felted textiles and objects that investigate the materiality of wool and its relationship to human biology and psyche. By estranging what is familiar, she creates work that possesses its own unique life. Her work has been exhibited at Frieze New York with Jhaveri Contemporary (2021), Nature Morte (Delhi, 2021), Mana Contemporary (NJ, 2020), Mexico City Art Week (2020). In 2021 Sundaram won a South Asian Arts Resiliency Fund grant and was a finalist for the UC Berkeley South Asia Art Prize. She has an MFA in Textiles from Parsons School of Design, NY. She studied at the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad and MICA in Baltimore. Sundaram is based between New York and Bangalore.
Susan Maddux is a Los Angeles-based artist whose work combines painting and sculpture into unique forms — evocative of the colors and warmth of her native Hawaii and influenced by the arts of Asia and the Pacific. She was born on the island of Oahu in Hawaii to a hapa Japanese-American family where she absorbed the influence of Japanese folk art traditions and Buddhist temples as well as the various arts of Polynesia. Trained in fine arts at the SF Art Institute, she has had numerous group and solo shows in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York and Honolulu. After years in New York painting in her studio in Brooklyn and designing textiles for major fashion houses, she came to Los Angeles to be nearer to the Pacific Ocean and Hawaii. She brings her early experiences in the lush valley of Manoa, vibrant colors and reverence for nature and the spirit world to bear on her painted sculptural works. Each piece is made of individual acrylic paintings on canvas folded to conceal, reveal and transform the materials.
Tamika Rivera is a multidisciplinary artist based in NYC on Lenape territory. She explores her multicultural “New Yorker” heritage with a multidimensional perspective. Creating pathways of playful exploration, acceptance, mixed identity, decolonization and spiritual activation, her Afro-Boricua and Nomadic mixed Roots hold space to support the statement “I am Taíno” — a movement giving her indigenous Caribbean ancestors the right to exist inside of her through her work. Art works have been exhibited and shared at Fort Makers Gallery, Future Fairs, Artsy, Private View Gallery NYC, Whitney Houston Biennial, Cooper Hewitt Museum (store), Arts Restore LA: Hammer Museum, Every Women Biennial and NADA House Governors Island and featured in online and print publications such as The Cut, Wallpaper, Site Unseen, Curbed, LA Times, New York Times Magazine and Vogue. Rivera is the founder of Here Projects, a collective of collaborators creating resources, events and curated exhibitions as a platform for change. Rivera shows her work at Fort Makers Gallery NYC and is currently working on fiber sculptures installations, public & private Art commissions and exhibitions around the globe.
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